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Old 12-03-2008, 09:30 PM   #1
pzrwest
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Has anyone made their own berets?

Has anyone made their own berets and if so do you have a tutorial on how it was done?
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Old 12-03-2008, 11:00 PM   #2
hankco1942
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I did long ago (pre 2000) and it was one of my first "tutorials" that I put up on my web site (now gone thanks to AOL). I still have the files some place , the method was perfected by many as the years went by (RoyOhBoy for one).

I didn't like the sewn edges on berets (to tell you the truth I think this was before Dragon figures!!!) so I basically took fabic, stretched it around a wooden spool until it kept it's shape, and then sewed an leather headband. The ones I made back then still have their shape! I'll dig up a pic in a minute! It's easy! You can do it too!!!


This is one I made worn by a 21st Century Ultimate Soldier (before the even had different sculpts!!!) - the badge was from The Elite Brigade. He is holding he spool I used as a form . I put some other pics in my SAG gallery.
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:06 AM   #3
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That's pretty neat Hank, gonna have to give that a shot, thanks
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:50 AM   #4
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I remember the tutorial. I always meant to give it a try. I'd like to give a similar try to making Western style hats too. I really like the looks of some of the ones I've seen here.

http://stevostoys.com/

Tim
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Old 12-04-2008, 01:29 AM   #5
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hankco1942 I would love to see how you made these berets. The one pictured looks good
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Old 12-04-2008, 01:50 AM   #6
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LOL - here's the text from my original tutorial. What were you doing in the year 2000? This was done when 21C was just starting out, GI Joe was still king! Anyway, this is a fun if tedious project, I did subsequently find real wool but never went back to it, like I said, others have since done it better...


How To Make a Beret for GI Joe


I’ve never been satisfied with the molded berets available for GI Joe. And the handful of cloth versions (like the 82nd Jane) were stitched together, which is NOT the way a typical military beret is constructed. With the assistance of GI Defender, I was able to study the construction of an actual beret.


After pulling and cutting and stitching I dropped by the library and stumbled onto a book about millenary (hat making). While the beret section offered little assistance, there were several techniques which lent themselves quite nicely to my task.


These instructions are based on about a day’s worth of effort. Everything seems to work and the results have been great.


Tools and Materials:


You’ll need:
Sculpy clay and an oven
Sharp sewing Scissors
Straight Edge Razor Blade
Rubber Bands
Needle and thread
Fabric Tac Adhesive
Elastic Thread
Cloth (Robe Velour, limited colors or Craft Felt, which is a bit too heavy)
Mini Single Fold Bias Tape (Black)


Step 1: Make a Form


Who knew? Hats are often molded! I took Sculpy and formed a conical shape. The top diameter is about an inch and a quarter, length is about 2 inches, lower diameter about three quarters of an inch. There is an indentation about halfway down for the rubber bands. Your dimensions may vary, I based this roughly on a 21C baby face Mitch. If you want a floppier Euro beret, you may want to make the top taper out a bit more. A hole was drilled through the center for faster baking – then, I followed the instructions for hardening the clay.


Step 2: Stretch the Crown Fabric


This was interesting – rather than cutting a wedge and gathering the fabric, you just pull a swatch around the form, and tightly fasten rubber bands to secure it. Then, pull the corners and then the sides until there are NO wrinkles in the fabric above the bands. The book indicates steaming will help hold the shape, but I haven’t tried that!


Step 3: Attach the Band


Cut a strip of your bias tape to the circumference of your Joe’s head. Fold it open, and carefully glue one of the flaps around the stretched fabric. MAKE CERTAIN that there is a good attachment – this fabric glue can dry quickly and give an uneven seam. Take your time, do it right. Clip as necessary so that the ends meet at the back but do not overlap. Let the glue dry.


Step 4: Make sure the glue is dry!!! If you are ambitious, run a stitch around the inside of the bias tape so that you are certain it is securely attached. (Use a simple Backstitch - easy, really secures the band.)


Step 5: Add the Elastic Tie


This is not only a nice detail, but it will allow you a bit of adjustability. This elastic thread unravels like crazy – so make sure you have enough slack. Run the thread just
inside the upper fold of the bias tape, then fold the tape over the ambitious among you
might also like to run a stitch just below the thread to hold it in place. Thin belt elastic MAY be a more managable alternative.


Step 5: Cut the Cloth


Using your razor blade, cut very carefully just BELOW the inside of the glued flap on the bias tape. Remove the beret from the form. This will require some patient stretching. You will now know whether or not the glue was applied properly. If it wasn’t, start pinching and pulling and re-gluing – or start again!


Step 7: Tuck in the Band


Fold the bias tape in its center and glue the lower flap to the inside of the beret. Be careful around the back and make sure your elastic is free. An option would be to add a cardboard backing for the flash at this time – this gives a bit more lift in the front, and it is an actual detail.


Step 8: Steam Press


I spent some time trying to suss this out, there are precedents suggesting boiling the beret and shaping it, I thought about holding it over a tea kettle - then - Shazam! Just Iron the darn thing! Either while it is in place on the spool, OR by flattening the edge.


Step 9: Install


Get your Joe ready, slip the beret on, and tie the elastic thread tightly. Cut the excess off and attach your PATCH HUT flash. Stand back as Joe will be a bit proud!


Please don't copy this without attribution!!! If I say Copyright 2000 HankCo1942, does that help? LOL
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Old 12-04-2008, 01:53 AM   #7
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I am cracking up reading this old stuff. Why did I call the 21C figure Mitch? Found this bump from later in... Y2K!

Here's the update:

FLASH UPDATE 27 October - For those of you put off by the Clay form, try this handy alternative - a wooden spool from Michaels Craft Store - it measures about 2 1/4 inch long, 1 1/2 inch diameter. Shave the hub off one end, and you have a just slightly too large form. This is a bit easier to use than the clay - BUT - you almost HAVE to sew the band in place. To make the beret fit, the band must be cut to Joe's head size, and sewn in place on the form. Do a tacking stitch across the back and draw the band (and surrounding fabric) tight. Make sure the elastic is not glued in place, too!
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:26 AM   #8
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Cool tutorial will have to give it a try. Many thanks. I know I can buy cloth berets etc but half the fun of this hobby is making things and have them turn out in the end. Besides what have we got to loose if a project doesn't turn out we had fun doing it right. We are in this hobby for the enjoyment.
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:36 PM   #9
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I have been making my own berets for some time. Actually, I got Hankco1942's recipe from a third person and added a few modifications. The most relevant is that I don't use elastic band, but a piece of leather like material and sew it to the felt. Also, as a mold I use one of those old picture film containers with a circular Evergreen plastic piece glued to it. This should have the same diameter as the diameter of the beret that we want to achieve. I mean that modern berets should have smaller diameter than WWII ones. I'll try to post a tutorial if anyone is interested. Here is a pic of some of my guys, all with "Lord B's" berets



The main secret is the fantastic capability that fels has to adapt to different shapes. Seams are totally unnecesary to make a beret out of felt.

Jordi
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:53 PM   #10
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By the way, I never had the chance to thank you Hank in person for your inspiring tutorial (I actually didn't know it was you until today) , so thanks !!

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Old 12-04-2008, 08:54 PM   #11
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you are welcome and... inspirational work!
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:34 AM   #12
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those are fantastic berets, Lord B. When you get a chance, I would appreciate you showing your tutorial for berets.
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